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The Battle of Carnival and Lent

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Image of The Battle of Carnival and Lent

© Judith Schaechter

The Battle of Carnival and Lent

56 x 56 in. (142.2 x 142.2 cm)

Judith Schaechter

Object Type: Glass
Medium and Support: Stained-glass panel
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund, Rosemary B. and James C. MacKenzie Fund, Joseph T. Simon Fund, R. T. Miller Fund and Bequest of Clara Trowbridge Wolfard by exchange, and funds from deaccessioning
Accession Number: 2015.39
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Location: Not currently on view

The Battle of Carnival and Lent, the largest window of the installation, took the artist over a year to complete. It contains over ninety-six figures: human, animal, and imaginary. It was made to be viewed from below, as it was installed in the transom at the end of cell block 11.

Schaechter’s work has long demonstrated her respect for her art historical ancestors. Her imagery aligns her with the long tradition of grotesquerie and the absurd going as far back as the ancient world. The Battle of Carnival and Lent, inspired by Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1559 painting of the same subject, is Schaechter’s twenty-first-century vision of the struggle between humanity’s best and worst impulses. Reflective of the artist’s spirit and wit, and fitting the context of the penitentiary, Schaechter takes this timeless struggle and recasts it “as a prison riot . . . [or] a street fight . . . [or] a smackdown between the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Cardinal Virtues.”

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